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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Running Safety

Running has long been hailed as the ‘It” exercise. It gets your heart rate up, causes tons of sweat and helps in weight loss so it has to be always good right? Well, maybe not so right.

There are serious health risks associated with running that could compromise your body and should never be overlooked. Here are seven to watch out for:

1. Sudden cardiac arrest

Though the risk stands at about 1 in every 200,000 runners, the possibility of cardiac arrest still exists. Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency and occurs when there is an unexpected loss of heart function. Shortness of breath and unconsciousness quickly follow and lead to death if not quickly treated. Men in the mid 30s to mid 40s age range are most prone to this although women are not completely free of risk. The most likely cause apart from a history of heart problems is taking part in running you are not really prepared or warmed up for.

2. Runner’s knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the medical term for runner’s knee. It is caused by exercise activities that require a lot of stress on the knee. Repeated bending, walking, lunges, biking and jumping are the major factors leading to this condition. It manifests as a pain around and behind the knee cap.

3. Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS)

In simple terms, the Iliotibial band is a thick tendon that starts from the hip, stretches from the outside thigh through the knee and down to the shin in both legs. As it approaches the knee it narrows and rubbing (friction) takes place between the tendon and the bone causing inflammation. You are likely to feel a stinging pain and notice swelling over the knee with the pain intensifying gradually especially when you try to put the affected foot on the ground.

ITBFS is very common amongst runners and seems to occur more frequently in women than men.

4. People with Arthritis

The misconception that running causes Arthritis has been around for ages. Arthritis (in this case that of the knee) is genetic. However, if you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, the continuous pounding impact on the knee as your feet hit the ground while running will worsen the condition. It is advisable to see your doctor first before taking up running.

5. Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a flat strip of tissue connecting your heel bones to your toes. It holds the arch of your foot in place. When strained, it becomes swollen and painful causing a term called Plantar Fasciitis. It is the most common cause of heel and under foot pain and gets worse when you try to stand or walk.
Though known to affect middle aged people more, it frequently occurs in young people who stand a lot (think soldiers, guards and athletes).

Quick Player Efficiency Rating

Overall, this rating is designed to boil down all of a player’s contributions into one number. Using a detailed formula, Hollinger developed a system that rates every player’s statistical performance.

The average rating for National Basketball Association players is 15.0. NBA superstars frequently have a rating in the upper 20’s. Collegiate and high school ratings will be significantly lower than the NBA, but I’ll get in to that in a moment.

The formula that Hollinger uses is complex, but I believe it’s a highly accurate view of how a player is performing while on the floor. Because of this, during my days as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, I wanted to determine if I could come up with a way to assess a player’s performance a little quicker than using the formula that Hollinger uses.

Fortunately, I was able to find a much simpler way to rate players. While this method was easier to compute, I found it to be highly effective and accurate when it came to determining player’s playing time and predicting who would receive end of the year honors. The version of the PER that I frequently used determined which players were more effective in certain line-ups, against certain teams, and their overall positive contribution to their team.

If you’re a coach, you may know that you receive a box score between quarters, or at half time. This was a time that I diligently scribbled down notes to determine the player’s PER.

Let me explain.

Instead of using Hollinger’s formula. I simplified it by taking a look at the positive contributions that a player makes such as points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks and totaling those things. Each positive contribution counts as one point towards the rating. So, if a player has 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block, that would add up to a total of 27… so far.

I subtract the number of negative things that happen in a game. So turnovers (TOs), missed field goals (FGs), missed 3-pointers (3pts) and missed free throws (FTs) all count as -1. I do not count fouls as negative points, because fouls can be either good or bad, depending on the situation. So, let’s say the same player above shot 3-10 on FGs, 3-5 on FTs, 2-4 on 3pts and also had 3 TOs, this would equate to a total of negative 14 (-7 for FGs, -2 for FTs, -2 for 3pts, -3 for TOs = 14).

Now, remember, this same player had netted 27 positive points. But because of the missed shots and turnovers, we must take away 14 of those points, which leaves this player with an adjusted PER of 13. Players who are inefficient will certainly suffer in this rating.

This quick version of the PER I found extremely helpful because I could do the math for each player while in the locker room or on the bench. If you do this rating consistently for at least a season, you can determine what an average PER would be for your types of players. You can also determine who will likely be up for an award at the end of the season. You can also determine who deserves more playing time.

That’s where I found this most helpful. If a player was only playing a few minutes per game, but had a high PER, I would advocate for more playing time for that player.

You might think that a PER is always obvious. It is not, my friend. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see that, according to the PER, some players are helping you much more than they’re hurting you or vice-versa.

This quick PER was so helpful for me during my time as an assistant coach, that I required my assistants to utilize it when I became a head coach. We did not have an abundance of advanced metrics available to us during my days as a coach, but this PER enabled our team to win a divisional championship.

As with any statistic, it has to be taken in the context of the game. It’s not a tell all, just like a box score is not always an accurate reflection of the game. But, this rating can certainly be helpful.

Choose Football Shoes

For buying a pair of shoes that suit to all your requirements, you must know about various types of football shoes available in the market. To get an idea about the shoes you must follow few steps which would lead you to buy your signature pair of shoes.

– The first and foremost step is to visit an outlet with a wide variety of football shoes. Do not go to a neighboring showroom where you might find a limited range. Visiting a good showroom would guide you well.

– As you have gone and visited wide varieties you will get a fair idea on various brands and models released by them so far.

– Once you got information about various brands, choose a brand that fits well with your needs and pocket. Then, browse through for the latest and upcoming models by that selected brand.

– Watch out the differences between your current pair and the pair you are planning to buy. Once you listed out pros and cons of your old and new pairs, weigh them for further scrutiny.

– Once you are done with initial brand analysis, check out for the information about the grounds you played so far and the ground where you are going to play. Make out the differences between them and try to find out how your new pair could have helped you in your last plays and how it would help you in your next match.

– Getting ample information about the surface you played or going to play would definitely give you a fair idea on which football shoes you must opt for your next match.

Have a Kick Like Cristiano Ronaldo

Make a Free Kick

Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for his free-kick and the patented knuckleball-style swoop effect that emerged when he kicked it. To be able to do a free kick a la Cristiano Ronaldo, you need to learn to turn the ball just a little and forcing the ball to swoop down suddenly while still firing accurately at full speed that will be difficult to hold.

Place the ball with the nipple facing you

When Ronaldo did a free kick, he always aligned the ball so that his nipple touched his feet. It’s hard to know whether the touch has a noticeable effect on the ball path or it’s just superstition, but there’s no harm in trying.
Step back a few steps and move to the right

Ronaldo usually retreats 3-5 paces before he takes a free kick. Then he stood with both arms straight down and his feet widened, over shoulder width apart. As soon as he approaches, he uses a “stutter-step” pattern on his kick. Doing some stutter moves quickly tends to outwit the goalkeepers and other defenders so they will not know exactly when the kick landed.

Place the legs that are not for kicking and the position of the body arched backwards

Place the other foot on the side of the ball and curl backwards so that the kick angle is fitted to throw the ball upward

His free kick tends to rise very quickly, looking like it exploded from his leg. It comes from a quick curved back position just before it touches the ball. If done correctly, the kick will not spin, but it curves upward, then swoops down quickly, or mutes in accordance with the force released on follow-up.

Touch the ball right in the middle with your back

You will touch the ball with long bones in the leg that extend from the big toe to the top of the foot

Aim the nipple that you face at the beginning of the kick

To produce a “knuckle-ball” effect you need to avoid spinning the ball a bit. Try to touch the ball right in the middle as often as possible instead of rolling it off your feet at all

The most important part of the kick is the follow-up. Follow up the kick by directing the kicking leg toward which the ball will be fired, with the body spinning towards the target and lifting the leg that does not kick up. Straighten your knees that kick up, instead of ending with your legs on the side like the traditional follow-up.

Imagine you want to touch your knee legs that kick on your chin after touching the ball. If done correctly, the kicking foot will touch the ground first. Now back off and look at the “knuckle-ball” with its unpredictable prowess.

Doing a Cross Feed and Dribbling Ball

One of the benefits of Ronaldo’s game is that he likes to share opportunities, finding the best opportunities for his team to score. It means a cross and a corner kick. He can also move in all directions on the field, playing on the left, right, or in the middle as an attacker. His deft movements make him one of the greatest players.

Bring the ball to the penalty box

Unlike Beckham, famous for his long cross, elegant, curved with many rounds, Ronaldo’s cross is more like a small pass behind his back in a basketball. He brings the ball deep into the opponent’s area, then throws it into the air back through the game field to the team so that it becomes a header or shot.
Although he often played on the left side of the field, Ronaldo has alternated positions, depending on the game that runs, and will go to the middle of the field to do across as well.

Throw the ball to a teammate

To throw Ronaldo’s cross, touch the ball with the straight leg, and the legs that do not kick behind the ball. Make a very short follow up to throw the ball up as far as possible, so your teammates have a chance to head it.